Covid-19 Pandemic

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Testing wastewater can rapidly detect COVID-19 outbreaks in college campuses, nursing homes and prisons.

Thanks to a $10 million dollar grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the state is beginning to test wastewater across Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the State Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will team up with local health departments and colleges for the three month pilot.

On Stateside, how can schools keep COVID-19 cases under control on campus, while also holding in-person classes? Albion College is hoping that their pandemic pod model might be the answer. Also, why the spectacular skies caused by Western wildfires are a reminder of the collective stakes of climate change. And finally, we hear from members of an artist collective that questions white people's fascination with—and sometimes fetishization of—Indigenous culture.

On Stateside, the state Senate passed a bill this week that allows local and county clerks to begin preparing absentee ballots a day ahead of the election. We check in with two clerks on whether the state's election system is ready for a potential wave of absentee ballots as November approaches. Also, a Detroit Free Press reporter updates on the Big Ten’s decision to resume football this fall. Plus, a look at the legacy of the first Black faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Today on Stateside, a petition aiming to curb the governor's executive powers is nearing the number of signatures it needs. And, graduate students at the University of Michigan are continuing their strike against the school over concerns about COVID-19 regulations and precautions. Plus, a conversation with the director of Michigan Opera Theatre about how he plans to add to Detroit’s illustrious musical legacy.

On Stateside, a church in Romeo grapples with systemic and politically motivated vandalism. And, what six months of COVID have looked like. Plus, we continue a focus on Detroit Month of Design with a conversation with the winner of the Design in the City competition.

Courtesy Legs Inn

 

A steady stream of visitors to resort areas in northern Michigan over the summer exceeded national tourism averages. But local businesses are still hurting from lost revenue during the state’s COVID-19 lockdown, and are now putting their hopes into fall tourism.

Peter Payette

Maria San Miguel was nervous about getting a coronavirus test. 

“I was seeing on the television and the internet that there was something they were going to put up your nose really far,” she says in Spanish. 

Friske Farm Market Facebook page

 

A northern Michigan health department says it’s struggling to make a local market comply with a state executive order. Now the Antrim County store may have also been a COVID-19 exposure site.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Northwest lower Michigan health departments reported 37 possible COVID-19 exposure sites since Monday, August 10.

 

They included typical exposure sites, including restaurants, retail stores and airplane flights, but they also include other types of locations that have recently cropped up — a community pool, skate park and a ferry.

Ellie Harold’s migration inspired art installation, “Birds Fly In: A Human Refuge,” is on display at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort through Sept. 11, 2020.
Diane Frederick

In 2017, artist Ellie Harold was stuck in traffic in Atlanta. There was road rage all around her, and she started feeling it bubble up inside of her too. She asked herself, “Wouldn’t it be great if people could just have a place to go for a time out?”


From left to right, David Chown, Laurie Sears and Miriam Picó released a new album recently called, 'Live at St. Andrews'.
Lancaster Photography

A trio of Traverse City artists are out with a new album called "Live at St. Andrews." It features David Chown, Miriam Picó and Laurie Sears during a 2018 show at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah.


Courtesy MUNSON HEALTHCARE

 

While COVID-19 cases continue to rise steadily in northern Michigan, Munson Healthcare is treating fewer patients and reports it has enough resources to treat those who need hospital care.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Arts Academy will test all of its students and staff for COVID-19 this August with help from a Boston lab.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department

 

Helene Mitchell, a 17-year-old resident of Leland, kept her friend group small this summer to avoid the coronavirus.

Still her friend tested positive and she was exposed.

Shari Bernstein

This week a shopper in Meijer in Acme threatened an employee with a knife, upset he was told to wear a mask.

In Lansing, a man was stabbed and in May, a security guard at a Flint dollar store was shot to death.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Authorities say they have arrested a man who pulled a knife on a Meijer employee in northern Michigan after she asked him to wear a mask.

The alleged incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, when a Kalkaska County man went shopping for groceries at the Meijer in Acme Township.

Grand Traverse County Detective Captain Randy Fewless says one employee would not let the man go in the store.

Hundreds of Detroit students started in-person summer school programs in Detroit Public Schools Community District buildings on Monday, in the face of some public opposition.

A small group of protesters blocked the exit to a school bus depot on the city’s west side, preventing the buses from picking up more than 200 enrolled students, said DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.


Courtesy of Munson Healthcare

 

Reversing the trend of many rural hospitals across the country, Munson Healthcare’s Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital is offering inpatient services to Benzie area residents again.

Michigan colleges and universities are scrambling to figure out what a new federal government rule means for their international students.

That comes after the government’s announcement this week that the government will no longer issue student visas to foreign students whose universities go to online-only classes.


Interlochen Public Radio

 

The coronavirus is starting to creep back into northern Michigan. 

Taylor Wizner

 

Munson Healthcare says it will cut 25 administrative jobs, alter services and cut capital projects, as it deals with financial losses incurred during the pandemic.

Pandemic Stories: Tourism in spring 2020

Jun 25, 2020
Courtesy Wilderness Canoe Trips

Opening a canoe livery was challenging this year. The pandemic and then flooding rains kept these businesses on edge. Just before Memorial Day weekend, Stewart McFerran, from Red Pine Radio, checked in with Roger Zak, who runs Wilderness Canoe Trips on the Manistee River. He said his phone had been ringing off the hook.

 

Courtesy COVID Act Now

Update 6/22/20: Northwest Michigan Health Services corrected numbers it shared with IPR. 

Pandemic Stories: Racing the coronavirus

Jun 17, 2020
Kris Kruid

Kris Kruid was halfway across the world and had to race the coronavirus to get back to her home in Honor.  Borders were slamming shut behind her. She was in 13 airports in 8 days.  She told her story to Red Pine Radio producer Cheryl Bartz.

“I was in Botswana on a trip we’d been planning for a year to go on safari and then go see the great apes," she recalls. "Then my traveling companion turned on her phone and saw the news about borders closing. So then we had to get out.  South Africa was closing, and Kenya had already closed."

Today on Stateside, a conversation with a community activist in Grand Rapids looking to defund the police and what that would entail. Plus, four nurses have filed a lawsuit against the parent company of DMC and Sinai-Grace over what they say was negligence and mismanagement that led to unnecessary COVID-19 deaths.

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